| October 2018 – Women's History Month Poster |
Toronto – October 1, 2018 – Each October we celebrate Women’s History Month to honour the achievements and contributions women in Canada have made throughout our history.
As Rosemary Brown asserted, “We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.” She made history, not just as the first black woman to sit in the legislative assembly of British Columbia, but also as an MLA who struck a committee to eliminate sexism from educational materials in the school system by navigating societal issues through a gender lens.
Other trailblazers such as Dr. Emily Stowe, Helena Gutteridge, Léa Roback, Iona Samis, Louise Charron and many more, made history and changed the future of Canada through their courage, determination and activism to challenge sexism and to create a just, equitable and violence-free country for. But there is still a long way to go.
The #MeToo movement has made it abundantly clear that systemic oppression and sexual violence continue to exist in the workplace and beyond. Economic oppression also continues, as women in non-union workplaces continue to earn an average of 0.70 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts doing the same kind of work. The gender wage gap worsens for Indigenous women, women of colour, women with LGBTQI2S identities, immigrant women, among others.
Across the country, UFCW Canada and UFCW Local unions continue to work diligently to end gender-based oppression and violence. We directly support the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We have created model contract language to ensure protection and paid leave when union members experience gender-based violence. Our campaign to close the gender wage gap has catalyzed thousands of activists in the call for gender pay equity.
This October let us recommit further to ending gender-based discrimination and violence in all its forms. Let us work together, as sisters and brothers, to make a future where gender oppression is a thing of the past.
Paul R. Meinema
Show your support by using the hashtag #MakeHistoryToday. To find out more about UFCW Canada’s work to advance women and gender rights see www.ufcw.ca/women. Also check out the Women in Canada – History Timeline.